Met Office issues orange alert for the whole country, except the coast

Sunday marks the start of a number of very hot days. The authorities are warning the people to take their precautions: this morning, the Met Office issued an orange alert for Brussels, Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant, adapting this later on to include the rest of the country, except for the coast.  

The warning will apply to the whole country as from Monday, when temperatures will climb above 30 degrees Celsius. More tropical days are expected until Thursday at least, as a south-easterly breeze brings warm, continental air to Belgium. Today, temperatures may already come close to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). 

The graphic at the bottom of the page shows the different provinces and the coastal area, and the colour of the alert. The Belgian coast will be the only one to enjoy relatively cool weather the next days. However, no province has been labelled with a red alert yet. 

A divided country

The heat wave could become official on Wednesday or Thursday, if we will have had 5 days above 25 Celsius, including 3 with temperatures over 30. However, the country could be divided into two parts as from Wednesday, with slightly cooler temperatures in the north-west and hotter temperatures in the south-east. 

About the alerts

The yellow alert means that measures against the heat can be taken. The present orange alert is a bit more serious: elderly people and weaker persons should take into account a number of simple rules: drink enough water and stay in a cool place, dress lightly, have your physical state checked regularly, eat light and easy digestible food, and keep the heat out of the house by closing doors and windows. 

The red alert is only implemented at extremely high temperatures, and/or in combination with a poorer air quality due to soaring ozone levels. 

For those venturing outside, it is key to apply enough sun cream. The sun is at its strongest at this time of year. It's not a good idea to take heavy physical exercise between 10AM and 4PM.